Smosh is taking a stab at long-form content.
The popular YouTube duo of Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla is set to release a 60-minute compilation video on Tuesday that draws from their "If (blank) were real" series of videos. Titled "Smosh's What If It Were Real Saga," it will be available for digital download and to rent on iTunes, Amazon, Playstation, XBox, Google Play and YouTube. It will cost $5.99 to purchase in standard definition and $7.99 for high definition. Renting starts at $3.99.
Most of the If It Were Real content is culled from previously released material in the series, but about 20 percent of the footage is new, according to Barry Blumberg, evp, Defy Media, the new company formed after Break Media and Alloy Digital merged earlier this month.
Because much of the footage already existed, the production cost was low, Blumberg said (he declined to identify the budget for the project). But he said the download offering is a sort of experiment to gauge how receptive Smosh's audience is to this type of release.
"We're really looking forward to seeing how this does and, you know, what opportunities it presents not only for our library but also for creating wholly original content that could be pushed out via digital download," he said.
Smosh is also continuing its work with brands. They recently released a video to promote the latest installment of the Assassin's Creed video game franchise, Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag, which is scheduled for release later this month. As the game's title suggests, it's a pirate theme—and Smosh recorded a punk rock music video to promote the game.
It's the second video Smosh has created for Ubisoft; they scored a hit last year with a video for Assassin's Creed III—the video to date has more than 40 million views.
Tony Key, svp of sales and marketing at Ubisoft, hopes Smosh can "recreate the magic" of that last video. And he's confident that Smosh's last video for Assassin's Creed, released a year ago this month, translated to sales, even if it's hard to quantify the impact of a brand-supported video from an influential YouTube channel. "We definitely think it raised the profile or our brand and thus raised the sales of our game," Key said.
Smosh gets a surprising amount of leeway from Ubisoft when creating these videos, according to Key. "The whole point is we're letting them play with it," he said.
Watch the Assassin's Creed video below: